The Washington State Department of Agriculture has fined a dairy $17,000 for allegedly improperly applying digestate containing manure to a field in the rain and having a leaky valve that allowed polluted water to flow into a ditch.
The ditch led to a salmon creek, according to a department press release.
Material from a dairy's digester is called digestate.
Under state law water containing manure must be managed in a way that protects surface and groundwater from nutrients and bacteria.
Applying manure to a field in the rain helps nitrates and other compounds to leach into the soil, potentially impacting ground water.
The dairy, Edaleen Dairy in Lynden, Wash., has 30 days to pay the penalty or appeal to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.